Reliance telecom juggernaut set to roll in December

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 12, 2015

Mukesh Ambani

reliance jio

Mukesh Ambani’s RJio bets on disruptive tariff, slew of services & low-cost handsets

Competition in the telecom sector is set to hot up with Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Jio announcing the launch of its much-awaited broadband services in December.

In a bid to wean away customers from established players such as Airtel and Vodafone, Reliance Jio is embarking on a multi-pronged strategy — a slew of applications, including mobile payments, music streaming and high definition video services; aggressive pricing; and low-cost 4G-enabled handsets.

This will be Mukesh’s second entry into the telecom space after it had disrupted the mobile services space with its Monsoon Hungama offer in 2003 (the venture was later given to younger brother, Anil, after a split). Going by what Mukesh Ambani announced today at the Reliance Industries’ annual general body meeting, the group is gearing up to do an encore.

Reliance Jio plans to launch services at ₹300-500 a month. In addition, it is in talks with device makers to make available 4G-capable smartphones and tablets under ₹4,000. The cheapest 4G phone in the market at present is priced at ₹5,000.

“Jio will play a significant role in lifting India from its current 142nd rank on internet penetration to amongst the top 10 nations in the world,” Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of RIL, said.

Jio’s wireless network footprint will cover nearly 80 per cent of India’s population by this year-end and the entire country in the next three years. Jio has also deployed a network of 2.5 lakh route km of fibre optics, and this will be more than doubled over the next three years.

Targeting one million homes

The company is targeting to connect more than one million homes over fibre by April. It has also operationalised nearly half-a-million square feet of cloud data centre.

Ambani said that Jio will be much more than telecom services. For example, it is launching Jio Drive where people can store, sync and share any content between their own devices and with their friends. At present, this type of capabilities are provided only by large enterprises to their employees. Then there is Jio Play, which will allow users to watch HD TV anytime, anywhere on any device.

Rishi Tejpal Singh, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner, said: “We can expect some kind of a disruption in the market. The company is unlikely to repeat the industry’s mistake in 3G services, wherein the handset prices were the biggest deterrent to the adoption of the services.”

Published on June 12, 2015
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